Manchester United vs Leeds earlier in the season was one of the games of the season.
The two rivals met for the first time in the Premier League for 17 years at Old Trafford with the home side running out 6-2 winners. It could’ve been any scoreline too.
However, in the reverse fixture at Elland Road on Sunday, we witnessed a drab 0-0 draw.
It was a pretty terrible spectacle, in truth.
Perhaps the ‘highlight’ was Luke Ayling’s x-rated rant towards the assistant referee.
The Leeds captain picked up a yellow card for a foul on Marcus Rashford although, in his fairness, he did slip when making the tackle.
While he couldn’t argue with the caution, the defender felt Rashford was offside in the build-up.
As a result, Ayling decided to launch a verbal attack on the linesman and accused him of delaying his flag – something officials have been accused of this season.
Every word of Ayling’s rant could be heard as he shouted over to the official on the far side.
“It’s because you’re f***ing waiting for VAR all the time use the f***ing flag you’ve been given,” he begun.
“Use it mate, well done!” he shouted.
While we don’t condone abusing officials, Ayling does actually have a point.
We’ve seen it all too often this season where an assistant referee delays raising his flag even when the striker is blatantly offside. They allow play to continue before then raising it when the attack is over. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured during that phase of play when it should have been stopped.
Fans enjoyed Ayling’s sentiment anyway…
The draw meant that Leeds have now held Liverpool and United to ties in the same week – something that manager Marcelo Bielsa was very satisfied with.
“It was a very demanding game for us. For the game not to become unbalanced the team made a massive effort,” Bielsa said per Leeds Live.
“This effort allowed the game not to become unbalanced for us. The game for them came more naturally for them.
“But even if they predominantly dominated, we managed that the chances on goal were similar, even if they did have more of the ball to attack and they had a lot more attacks than we did.
“But I insist I value a lot everything that we did so the game would not become unbalanced.”